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[p. 32] public building, each manufacturing plant, provides for the extinguishing of fires, has fountains in parks and by the roadside, and going even farther, lays the dust in our streets and allows water for gardens and lawns.

We have in our streets 56.54 miles of city water mains, and 12.3 of Metropolitan; 513 hydrants for use of the fire department. The daily consumption per capita is one hundred gallons. The amount used by the railroad helps to bring it up to this high mark.

One of the best bon mots of recent years is that of the brilliant author who said, ‘Give me the luxuries of life and I will dispense with the necessities.’ With the present generation water is a luxury and a necessity.

If the spirit of the Salem pump could only give us another soliloquy!

Another difference between the centuries is that the water from the town pumps was absolutely free, while today we pay our price for what we use so freely and we are glad to do so. For who of us, much as we admire many customs and things of the past, and as much as we like to imitate colonial styles, would go back to those good old days when we wish to indulge in the luxury of a bath, or when our house-cleaning season comes on, or the laundry work is heaped up in hot weather when immaculate white is the fashion from top to toe?

We expect and shall find as great a difference in the expense of the old and modern systems as we do in ways and means. The printed reports of the City of Medford for 1907 are in a book of 424 pages; the report of the Water and Sewer Commissioners comprise 26 of these pages. There was spent for Water Construction $20,271.81, for Water Maintenance $16,130.42; add to this the Metropolitan Water Tax of $35,126.98, and we have a total of $71,529.21. There was received from Water Construction $2,128.75; from Water Maintenance $71,657.44, a total of $73,786.19, leaving a balance of $2,256.98; and though we are paying interest on a water debt, the local system is self-supporting.

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1907 AD (1)
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